by Cynthia Chow
& E.J. Copperman
This week we have the first in a brand new series by E.J. Copperman, along with an interesting guest post by E.J. where he asks readers questions. Details at the end of the post on how to enter to win a copy of Inherit the Shoes, and a link to order it from Amazon and an indie bookstore.
Inherit the Shoes: A Jersey Girl Mystery By E.J. Copperman
Review by Cynthia Chow
The opposing lead attorney is absurdly attractive. The second chair is improbably gorgeous. The witness fakes a heart attack, and is caught out by another attorney grabbing his wrist. These improbable occurrences are all the clues one needs to know that this is a legal television show, one that has former New Jersey assistant prosecutor Sandra Moss wanting to throw her remote. Needing a change of pace – and having misguidedly dated her boss – made moving to Los Angeles to accept a job as a divorce attorney seem like a good idea. It only takes her first day at the law firm of Seaton, Taylor, Evans and Bach to show her how bad a decision it may have been.
During a meeting when she was to remain silent, Sandy instead finds herself saddled with a client she didn’t want, in a case she has no experience in. Patrick Dunwoody (aka Patrick McNabb), star of the aforementioned hit legal show she mocked, is in the midst of a tumultuous divorce with former pop star Esmerelda Patricia “Patsy” DeNunzio, whose own fortunes have sunk while Patrick’s soared. Even more contentious than disputes over their prenup is the ownership of shoes once worn by Jimmy Cagney, and Patsy’s threats to set them on fire have Patrick retaliating with personal threats of his own. The timing could be better, as when Patsy is found impaled with an arrow, the LAPD wastes little time arresting the man with the motives, means, and ample opportunities.
Despite having worked on the other side of the law for eight years, Sandy is forced by her law firm to represent one of their most famous clients in what is becoming the biggest celebrity court case of the moment. A “too-attractive for his own good” paralegal is both a distraction and a lure for taking on the case, while Patrick sees this as a perfect research tool for his starring television role. Becoming something of a blend of Richard Castle and Remington Steele, Patrick has Sandy frustrated at losing her patience as he beats the police to witnesses and conducts his own investigation. For while art imitates life the reverse is also occurring, and not only on Patrick’s television show, which is taking advantage of his moment in the lurid limelight. Moments after Sandy declares that the tropes on legal television shows do not occur in real life, a fan in the DA’s office sneaks them evidence, they are nearly killed in a car chase, and someone leaves her a Sandy-resembling murdered Barbie doll.
This first in a new series combines the author’s background in entertainment business with legal advice from a friendly family member. The court scenes are as clever and engaging as those written by Parnell Hall under the name J.P. Hailey, with unexpected reveals and betrayals. Patrick’s ego is matched only by his unexpected intelligence, and it’s as much a surprise for readers as it is for Sandy how effective an investigator he becomes. Being an actor does mean that she never knows when he’s telling the truth or playing a role, an aspect that complicates both their professional and personal relationships. While Sandy’s Dairy Queen-owning best friend from Jersey would love for Sandy to take the leap – or jump – on the hottest actor of the moment, she is a little too ethical and gun-shy for her own good. The second of this series can’t come soon enough for readers looking to see how this absolutely hilarious, unpredictable mystery continues the adventures of a Jersey Girl Lawyer making her mark in LaLa Land.
by E.J. Copperman
Authors are asked a lot of questions. That’s perfectly okay with us; there are few things we like as much as talking about ourselves or our books. Sometimes we’re asked by interviewers from blogs, vlogs, podcasts, or news organizations; other times we’re asked directly by readers we run into or via email.
All that’s great. But because each of us is one author and there are at least tens of people who ask us stuff, we tend to get the same questions many times over. Again, that’s understandable and nobody’s fault, but if you see an author’s eyes glaze over when you ask a question, it’s because that author may not be as good at covering up as others.
I love to answer questions, and I’ll answer those same ones over and over. But today I thought I’d turn the tables a little bit and ask readers some questions just to give you the idea. So, feel free to answer in any way, shape, or form. At any time. I’m available at ejcopperman@gmail[dot]com.
So here we go:
Where do you get your ideas? (My feeling is that most people get ideas in their heads, but it seems to be the subject of some fascination, so I thought I’d ask and see if someone answered otherwise.)
How do you decide what to read? (Book cover? Reviews? Word of mouth? Facebook?)
Will you stop reading a series if the character does something you don’t like? What’s the breaking point for you? (For me, it’s when the author dies. It’s a deal breaker.)
Do you care if the main character in a cozy mystery DOESN’T have a hobby and solve the crime as a result of their knowledge? (I hasten to say, I’m not sure many of my books are official cozies.)
Have you always wanted to be a reader? (Sorry. I just wonder if people think I aspired to be a steam pipe fitter and fell into this job by accident.)
Be honest: Sometimes you just read the dialogue and skip the rest, don’t you?
Where do you buy your books? Do you prefer independent bookstores or do you want the instant gratification of online purchases?
How come you haven’t read Inherit the Shoes yet? (It’s about Sandy Moss, a New Jersey prosecutor who gets tired of putting people in jail and moves to Los Angeles to become a family lawyer. But her first divorce case turns into a murder defense when her client Patrick McNabb, a TV actor famous for playing a lawyer, is accused of killing his estranged wife – with a bow and arrow from a John Wayne movie.)
I’m so glad you asked.
To enter to win a copy of Inherit the Shoes, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “shoes,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 23, 2021. U.S. residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If you are entering via email please include you mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. BE AWARE THAT IT WILL TAKE LONGER THAN USUAL FOR WINNERS TO GET THEIR BOOKS DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Be sure to check out our new mystery podcast too with mystery short stories, and first chapters read by local actors. A new episode went up this week.
You can use this link to purchase this book from indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy, and KRL gets a portion of the sale:
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Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.